South Korea, China, Japan to hold first summit in four years

THE leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will hold their first trilateral summit in more than four years in Seoul on May 26-27, Seoul’s presidential office said.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will have bilateral talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday, ahead of their three-way gathering on Monday, deputy national security advisor Kim Tae-hyo said.

The three will adopt a joint statement on six areas including on the economy and trade following the summit, he told a briefing.

The neighbours had agreed to hold a summit every year starting in 2008 to boost regional cooperation, but the initiative has been disrupted by bilateral feuds and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their last trilateral summit was in late 2019.

The summit comes as South Korea and Japan have been working to improve ties strained by historical disputes while deepening a trilateral security partnership with the United States amid intensifying Sino-US rivalry.

Beijing has previously warned that Washington’s efforts to further elevate relations with Seoul and Tokyo could stoke tension and confrontation in the region. — Reuters

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